Shen­zhen leads in anti-smok­ing

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By WANG XIAODONG

City tops in to­bacco laws en­force­ment wangx­i­aodong@chi­nadaily.

Shen­zhen has done the best among China’s ma­jor cities in en­forc­ing the to­bacco con­trol law, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased on Wed­nes­day.

The re­port, re­leased by the Bei­jing Im­pact Law Firm, also said en­force­ment in many ma­jor cities is lax.

Law en­force­ment author­i­ties in Shen­zhen, Guang­dong province, in­spected nearly 130,000 es­tab­lish­ments and im­posed fines of more than 552,000 yuan ($89,000) on in­di­vid­u­als, and on own­ers of premises, who vi­o­lated the reg­u­la­tion as of the end of March since the city’s new to­bacco con­trol reg­u­la­tion took ef­fect on March 1 last year.

The reg­u­la­tion bans smok­ing in most in­door public places in Shen­zhen and sub­jects in­di­vid­ual vi­o­la­tors to a fine of up to 500 yuan, one of the harsh­est among ma­jor Chi­nese cities.

The re­port is based on replies from 15 ma­jor cities that have to­bacco con­trol reg­u­la­tions. The law firm ap­plied to the gov­ern­ments in these cities for dis­clo­sure of in­for­ma­tion on to­bacco con­trol be­tween April and early June.

The firm re­ceived in­for­ma­tion from 13 cities. In­for­ma­tion on Bei­jing and Xin­ing, Qing­hai province, was un­avail­able be­cause the two cities have just im­ple­mented new to­bacco con­trol reg­u­la­tions.

Hangzhou and Shang­hai also per­formed well in en­forc­ing to­bacco con­trol, while some cities, in­clud­ing Shaox­ing, in Zhe­jiang province, and Yinchuan, cap­i­tal of the Ningxia Hui au­ton­o­mous re­gion, have never im­posed any fines on vi­o­la­tors since they im­ple­mented reg­u­la­tions, the re­port said.

Gov­ern­ments in dif­fer­ent cities at­tach vary­ing im­por­tance to to­bacco con­trol, with a great dis­crep­ancy in the pun­ish­ment given to vi­o­la­tors in dif­fer­ent places, said Yang Jie, deputy di­rec­tor of the To­bacco Con­trol Of­fice at the Chi­nese Cen­ter for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion.

“Another rea­son is that im­pos­ing pun­ish­ment in some cities is dif­fi­cult be­cause it re­quires more com­pli­cated pro­ce­dures due to flaws in the reg­u­la­tions,” he said.

Yang Gonghuan, a pro­fes­sor at Pek­ing Union Med­i­cal Col­lege and an ac­tive to­bacco con­trol cam­paigner, said leg­is­la­tion in to­bacco con­trol is im­prov­ing quickly and new reg­u­la­tions “are be­com­ing eas­ier to be car­ried out”.

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